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Awards and Contests

English Research Essay Contest

The English Research Essay Contest recognizes and rewards outstanding undergraduate research writing at Texas A&M University. The winner of this contest will receive a $250 stipend, recognition at our annual awards banquet, and the opportunity to submit their paper to the National Undergraduate Literature Conference at Webster State University. If they are selected as a finalist for the NULC, the Department of English will pay the student’s expenses to attend the conference and present their essay.

  • Submissions can cover any literary subject or writer
  • Must be between 2500 and 5000 words in length
  • Written in response to a 300 or 400-level ENGL or LING course during the 2020 calendar year
  • Written by a currently enrolled undergraduate English major

Entries should follow MLA conventions with a separate title page including: the name of the submitter, UIN, email address, name of the instructor and course, and term composed. The student’s name should be removed from all pages except the title page. Submissions should be sent as a Word document to engl-undergraduate-office@lists.tamu.edu by the deadline for consideration. Only one entry per student.

Dr. Stanley L. Archer Memorial Award

The Archer Award recognizes and rewards the best writing in response to an Early Modern, Renaissance, or Shakespeare class. The award, which alternates between the Undergraduate and Graduate Programs, will be in the amount of $500 if a paper of suitable quality is found.

  • 2020 submissions are being accepted from undergraduate students
  • Written for an appropriate class (ENGL 314, 315, 317, 412, or 415) during the 2020 calendar year

Entries should follow MLA conventions with a separate title page including: the name of the submitter, UIN, email address, name of the instructor and course, and term composed. The student’s name should be removed from all pages except the title page. Submissions should be sent as a Word document to engl-undergraduate-office@lists.tamu.edu by the deadline for consideration. Only one entry per student.

Rhetoric and Discourse Studies Essay Contest

The Rhetoric and Discourse Studies Essay Contest annually recognizes and rewards outstanding undergraduate writing at Texas A&M University. The winner of this contest will receive a $250 stipend and recognition at our annual awards banquet.

  • Submissions must relate to rhetoric, linguistics, or discourse studies
  • Must be between 2500 and 5000 words in length
  • Written in response to an ENGL or LING course at Texas A&M during the 2020 calendar year

Entries should follow MLA or APA conventions with a separate title page including: the name of the submitter, UIN, email address, name of the instructor and course, and term composed. The student’s name should be removed from all pages except the title page. Submissions should be sent as a Word document to engl-undergraduate-office@lists.tamu.edu by the deadline for consideration. Only one entry per student.

English Faculty Graduating Senior Award

The Graduating Senior Award recognizes an outstanding graduating English major for their accomplishments throughout the undergraduate career. The winner will receive a $250 stipend and a recognition at our annual awards banquet. Interested students should fill out the Graduating Senior Award Application and email the required documents to engl-undergraduate-office@lists.tamu.edu by the deadline for consideration.

  • Students graduating in December 2020, May 2021, or August 2021 are eligible to apply
  • Applicants must have at least a 3.5 GPA overall and a 3.75 GPA in the English major
  • The selection committee considers GPA, number of Honors courses taken, awards and scholarships earned, participation is cultural activities, and other activities in student life
  • Applicants are asked to submit a copy of their best paper written for a Texas A&M English class as a writing sample

Charles Gordone Awards for Creative Writing

Charles Gordone, the distinguished namesake of the department’s annual creative writing competition, was born in 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio. He received his B.A. from California State University in Los Angeles and attended New York University and Columbia University. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Gordone worked for many years as an actor and drama instructor around New York and New Jersey. In 1953, he won an Obie Award for Best Actor for his acting in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.

Gordone’s play “No Place to be Somebody” was initially staged Off-Broadway. Audiences and critics were taken by its vivid characterizations. Its vibrant cast of characters intersect at a New York City bar. “No Place to be Somebody” was compared by a number of critics to the works of Eugene O’Neill, and, as in the case of O’Neill, much of the play’s material came from Gordone’s own experiences. “No Place to be Somebody” won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1970 and also garnered the Los Angeles Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Vernon Rice Award. He continued to direct plays and lecture in community theaters across the country.

Charles Gordone began teaching in the English and Drama departments at Texas A&M University in 1986. He was a very popular instructor and continued to teach at the College Station campus until his death in 1995. Since then, the Department of English has competition in both poetry and fiction to celebrate his contributions to the Texas A&M community.

  • Students submitting manuscripts must be a currently enrolled graduate or undergraduate student at Texas A&M University
  • Only one entry for each genre category is allowed
  • Poetry entries must be no more than 10 pages, one poem per page
  • Prose entries must be no more than 20 pages, double-spaced
  • All entries should be submitted in Word or PDF format using 12 point Times New Roman font and 1 inch margins
  • No name should appear anywhere on the manuscript
  • Winners will be determined by a panel of Creative Writing faculty and outside judges
  • Winners will receive a $250 prize and share their work at a public reading

Science Fiction and Fantasy Creative Writing Contest

The annual Science Fiction and Fantasy Creative Writing Contest is brought to you by the Department of English in partnership with Cushing Memorial Library and Archives.

  • Any currently enrolled undergraduate student at Texas A&M is welcome to submit their work
  • We accept all forms of speculative fiction
  • Submissions should be no more than 3000 words
  • All entries should be submitted in Word or PDF format using 12 point Times New Roman font and 1 inch margins
  • No name should appear anywhere on the manuscript
  • Winners will be determined by a panel of English faculty, Texas A&M librarians, and outside judges
  • Winners will receive a monetary prize and share their work at a public reading